Now is the right time to become an American Federation of Musicians member. From ragtime to rap, from the early phonograph to today's digital recordings, the AFM has been there for its members. And now there are more benefits available to AFM members than ever before, including a multi-million dollar pension fund, excellent contract protection, instrument and travelers insurance, work referral programs and access to licensed booking agents to keep you working.

As an AFM member, you are part of a membership of more than 80,000 musicians. Experience has proven that collective activity on behalf of individuals with similar interests is the most effective way to achieve a goal. The AFM can negotiate agreements and administer contracts, procure valuable benefits and achieve legislative goals. A single musician has no such power.

The AFM has a proud history of managing change rather than being victimized by it. We find strength in adversity, and when the going gets tough, we get creative - all on your behalf.

Like the industry, the AFM is also changing and evolving, and its policies and programs will move in new directions dictated by its members. As a member, you will determine these directions through your interest and involvement. Your membership card will be your key to participation in governing your union, keeping it responsive to your needs and enabling it to serve you better. To become a member now, visit



This Spring, Focus on Improving Work for Musicians

by Tina Morrison, AFM International Executive Board Member and Local 105 (Spokane, WA) Executive Board Spring is here and for many it feels like a time of renewal. Those of us who live in the northern regions venture cautiously outside, looking for signs of budding leaves, listening to birds’ spring songs, and noticing how the […]

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Visa Updates from the Canadian Office

en français : Du Bureau canadien, le point sur les permis de travail by Liana White, AFM Canadian Office Executive Director We have recently streamlined processing to provide greater transparency on P-2 visa processing, by upgrading our data tracking system. In addition to better tracking, we now provide automated status updates throughout the processing of […]

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ROPA 2024: 40 Years Stronger Together

by Steve Wade, ROPA President and Member Local 400 (Hartford-New Haven, CT) In an article recently published in The Leading Tone, I wrote about a documentary called The Freeway Philharmonic, made in 2008 by Tal Skloot and Steven Baigel and broadcast on KQED in San Francisco. The film is an hour long, and modest in […]

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ICSOM Musicians to Gather in Portland, Oregon

by Keith Carrick, ICSOM Chair and Member Local 104 (Salt Lake City, UT) I am thrilled to announce the 62nd annual International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians (ICSOM) Conference, will take place in Portland, Oregon, August 21-24. This year’s conference will cover a broad range of issues, including focus on cultivating and boosting relationships […]

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OCSM Conference to Be Held in Kitchener

by Robert Fraser, OCSM President and Member Local 247 (Victoria, BC) I write this column twice per year, in April and July. In addition to this, the Organization of Canadian Symphony Musicians (OCSM) secretary reports on our conference in the October issue. The April column usually comes right after our delegates share mid-season reports, so […]

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Francisco Joubert Bernard: Harnessing the Collective Power of Solidarity

Between teaching, touring as second bassoon with the Louisville Orchestra, and playing with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, it’s a wonder Francisco Joubert Bernard of Local 11-637 (Louisville, KY) has time for anything else. But he is a firm believer that orchestra musicians need to take an active part in their organization’s governance. For Joubert […]

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When Dystonia Strikes

Among the most frustrating disorders for musicians to manage is task-specific focal dystonia. Dystonia causes muscles to contract, which makes them move involuntarily or get stuck in an abnormal position. It can affect the entire body or a certain part, and the movements can sometimes cause pain. Though there are a number of unknowns, dystonia […]

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AFM Musicians Affirm Support at “Many Crafts, One Fight” Rally

AFM musicians joined thousands in solidarity at the “Many Crafts, One Fight” negotiations kickoff rally March 3 hosted by International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) and Hollywood Basic Crafts unions as they headed into their negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). Hot on the heels of the recent bargaining […]

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Tax Filing Tips – 2024 (US)

It’s Tax Time: Make It Easy on Yourself To help streamline your 2023 returns, here are some of the new and enhanced programs issued by the IRS in 2024. Taxes can be complicated for musicians. Which form? What can I claim? E-file, where? To help you sort it all out, we outlined a few basic […]

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Canadian Tax Filing Tips

Get a Head Start on Your Taxes Using CRA’s Digital Services It’s tax season again. Many of us put off filing our income tax and benefit returns until the last minute or avoid filing altogether. By not filing, you might be missing out on certain benefit and credit payments, or a potential refund. Electronic Filing […]

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